Sunday, April 27, 2014

Rabbit family unearths archaeological treasure trove

Wild European rabbits. Photo / Thinkstock
Story in The New Zealand Herald: Rabbits unearth Stone Age treasure

Rabbits unearth Stone Age treasure

Burrowing bunnies have uncovered an 8,000-year old treasure trove buried near Land's End.

The family of rabbits are believed to be responsible for unearthing the archaeological "gold mine" less than 200 yards from the Cornish landmark.

Archaeologists said that the animals had uncovered arrow heads, flint tools and hide scrapers dating back to the Neolithic Age.

Although a formal excavation of the 150-acre site hasn't started yet, the discovery suggests there could also be a large Neolithic - or New Stone Age - cemetery, Bronze Age burial mounds and an Iron Age hill fort buried there.

Team leader Dean Paton, 30, told the Daily Mirror: "It seems important people have been buried here for ­thousands of years - probably because of the stunning views. It's a million-to-one chance rabbits should make such an astounding find.

"They dug two little burrows right next to each other and all these ­treasures were thrown out of the earth. No one knows the scale of it but it's a gold-mine. A family of rabbits have just rewritten the history books."

A team from Big Heritage, based in the Wirral, are to spend up to two years excavating the site.

Dean added: "The bunnies are quite nosy and come out to see what we are doing."

Big Heritage also plans to create an "archaeobunnies" children's trail at Land's End.

The iconic spot, which is the most south-westerly point of mainland Britain, is a popular tourist destination. It gained widespread attention in May 2012 as the starting point of the London Olympics torch relay.

- UK Independent

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